HEVN by Miga Games
Are you tired of your expeditions into space always ending in the outbreak of a strange alien lifeform who wipes out your entire crew? Well, have I ever got bad news for you…
In the grand tradition of franchises like Alien and Dead Space, HEVN finds researcher Sebastian Mar waking up from cryostasis into a living nightmare. The rest of the station’s crew, save his hacker friend Edna, have been killed by a mysterious organism, and he’s stuck on a hostile planet full of malfunctioning androids and ion storms.
Worst of all, a hacker named Daedalus seems to be behind it all, and it’s only a matter of time before he finds Edna and kills not only her, but any chance Sebastian has of getting off the planet.
As Sebastian, your job is to explore the planet Naic to track down fragments of the launch code needed to evacuate. Your resources are limited, as is how much time you have, and it will take all your skills and resources to survive.
Look at You, Hacker…
A first-person adventure game through and through, HEVN lets you know right off the bat that you have a lot of options available to you. There’s background lore to be read, terminals to interact with, consoles to be hacked, etc. All the sci-fi tropes we love are there.
There are weapons, but ammo and health items are both limited, meaning you’re encouraged to be as resourceful as possible. As you explore the planet, you’ll also find plenty of puzzles to solve, several of which make use of a time-stop power you’re given at the beginning of the game.
This aspect of the game ends up being something of a double-edged sword. While it does a good job of making you feel like your choice of approach matters, and several of the puzzles are very well-designed, a lot of its mechanics end up feeling pretty simplistic.
There also isn’t a lot here you haven’t experienced before in other sci-fi adventure games, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how well HEVN presents itself.
The atmosphere created by the game is very effective right from the opening, and for such a small project, it looks and sounds very polished. That said, the game does have some frustrating design decisions, the main one being that menus are entirely navigated via the keyboard, despite appearing like they could easily use the mouse (which you already use to look around and use items).
We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties
HEVN aspires to the heights set by sci-fi adventures like Deus Ex and System Shock, and while it doesn’t quite reach those heights, it makes a commendable effort.
While the time limit will be divisive for some players, and some elements of its design are frustrating, it’s a game that punches well above its weight. If you’re looking for a sci-fi game that drips with atmosphere and challenges your brain, then you might well consider signing up for a mission to Naic.
HEVN is available via Steam and Itch.io.
Watch the official trailer for HEVN below: